Raleigh DWI Lawyer

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Raleigh DWI Defense Attorney

A DWI has the potential to cause severe damage to your reputation, your freedom, and your future. Depending on the situation, you could see a number of repercussions if you are pulled over and arrested for a DWI. If that does happen, it is important that you take the proper steps to protect yourself legally. Otherwise, you could be facing serious jail time. If you have been charged with a DWI, you should reach out to a Raleigh DWI lawyer.

At Steven T. Meier, PLLC, we’ve helped many clients successfully fight DWI charges. We’re prepared to craft a strong defense and ensure you see the most favorable outcome possible.

Raleigh DWI Lawyer

What Can a DWI Lawyer Do for You?

Having an officer pull you over for driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be overwhelming and can lead to a multitude of consequences. It is highly illegal in every state and considered a dangerous decision that puts many lives at risk. The most important thing you can do in the event of a DWI charge is retain the services of an experienced DWI lawyer who can help you manage the situation and do whatever they can to reduce your consequences.

An experienced, skilled DWI lawyer is necessary for your defense. You can choose to go about it alone, but the consequences could be severe. You’ll want someone in your corner who understands the ins and outs of criminal law and who can provide you with learned experience and a particular set of skills you likely do not possess. Here are just a few important qualities and skills that an experienced DWI lawyer can bring to your case:

  • Familiarity With State Law: Experience is a key factor when it comes to practicing the law. An experienced DWI lawyer will have worked on cases like yours many times and can bring reliable strategies to your case, which could help you in the long run. When charged with a DWI, pleading guilty is not your only option. There are ways to fight the charge, and your lawyer can pull from experience to help you identify the ideal defense for your circumstances.
  • Thorough Investigation: When you hire a lawyer to represent you in any case, your lawyer often launches their own independent, thorough investigation into the incident for which you were charged. In this case, your lawyer can investigate your DWI and reach their own conclusions about whether the arrest was by the book or if the charge was valid. Understanding the nature of your arrest will help the lawyer identify the most effective way to build a defense.
  • Defense Strategy: Some possible defense strategies, based on a solid investigation, may include reasons such as:
    • The police may not have had probable cause to stop you in the first place, which throws their entire arrest into question.
    • The field sobriety test or breathalyzer test may not have been administered properly.
    • If you were given a blood test, the blood may not have been handled or stored properly.
    • You may not have been driving the vehicle. You may have been sitting in your car with the keys in your hand, but you were not actually driving.
    • Your civil rights were violated when the arresting officer did not follow proper protocol to arrest you.
  • Provide You with Options: When you are arrested and charged with a DWI, you may be overwhelmed and feel like you have no options beyond pleading guilty and accepting the penalties. This is not necessarily true. An experienced DWI lawyer can provide you with options and show you the optimum way to establish your defense.You need to understand everything that is about to happen and the various outcomes that may occur. By understanding the process and what options you have to fight the charges, you will be better prepared to handle everything as it comes.
  • Expert Witnesses: An experienced lawyer typically develops a substantial network of resources over their years of practicing law. These resources could include private investigators, medical professionals, paralegals, police allies, and expert witnesses. An expert witness supports your defense and pokes holes in the prosecution’s evidence against you. Your lawyer can draw on these resources to help strengthen your case.

Consequences of a DWI Charge

The consequences of a DWI charge in North Carolina range from a slap on the wrist to serious jail time, depending on the nature of the charge and what exactly led to your arrest. If you are found to have a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% or higher while driving a vehicle, you are considered impaired. For a commercial vehicle, the number is 0.04% or higher. The consequences are split into five different levels, with Level I being the most serious and Level V being the least:

  • Level V: In this case, there are no aggravating factors, and you will likely be given a minimum fine of $200 and a minimum jail sentence of 24 hours. You will also likely be given at least 24 hours of community service.
  • Level IV: In this case, the fines go up to $500 with a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours, as well as 48 hours of community service if the judge does not suspend the sentence.
  • Level III: Things start getting more serious now, as the fines jump to $1,000 with a minimum jail sentence of 72 hours, as well as 72 hours of community service sentence that a judge cannot suspend.
  • Level II: At this point, there is at least one aggravating factor, which means you are a prior offender or you were driving recklessly. You face a fine of up to $2,000 with a minimum jail sentence of seven days and a maximum of a year in prison. A judge cannot suspend your sentence.
  • Level I: This is the most severe case of a DWI, where there are multiple aggravating factors. The fine is around $4,000, with a minimum jail sentence of 30 days and a maximum of two years in prison.
  • Aggravated Level I: It can get worse for Level I offenders. If there are more than three aggravating factors, the fine increases to $10,000, and the minimum jail time jumps to 12 months in jail with a maximum of 36 months. Even if a judge grants probation, you will still have to serve 120 days in jail, accept alcohol and drug monitoring, and complete a treatment program.

On every level, there is also the significant risk of having your driver’s license suspended for a set amount of time. On the higher levels, there is a significant chance that your license will be revoked for good on top of the other consequences you will likely be facing.


Q: How Much Does a DWI Lawyer Cost in North Carolina?

A: There is no telling how much a DWI lawyer will cost in North Carolina. Every lawyer has a different set of fees. It all depends on the various factors surrounding your case, as every case is different. Certain factors that are considered are the severity of your charge, the workload of the lawyer in question, the amount of resources the lawyer will need to use on your case, and the chances of success.

Q: Do I Need a Lawyer for a DWI in North Carolina?

A: Technically, no, you do not need a lawyer for a DWI charge in North Carolina. However, it is highly recommended that you engage the services of a DWI lawyer. Having skilled counsel increases the chances of minimizing the legal consequences of your case. North Carolina takes DWI charges very seriously, and the court will not hesitate to give you harsh, life-changing penalties. Having a good lawyer by your side can help.

Q: Can a DWI Be Reduced in North Carolina?

A: In some cases, a DWI can be reduced in North Carolina. In certain cases, your attorney may be able to get the charge reduced to reckless driving. It is possible for the charge to be dismissed if your lawyer can argue that proper protocol was not taken, the field tests were administered incorrectly, or the police had no probable cause to pull you over in the first place.

Q: How Do I Get Rid of a DWI in North Carolina?

A: Regrettably, you can’t get rid of a DWI in North Carolina. A DWI cannot be expunged from your record in the state. It stays with you forever. Your only options are to get the charges dismissed before ever entering a courtroom or to successfully win your case and get a jury verdict of “not guilty.” Other than that, once you are convicted of a DWI in North Carolina, it will be on your record forever.

Reach Out to an Experienced Raleigh DWI Lawyer Today

Dealing with the fallout of a DWI can be stressful, embarrassing, and a bit scary. Thankfully, you don’t have to deal with it alone. The legal team at Steven T. Meier, PLLC, is prepared to offer you sound legal counsel and a solid defense. Contact us to schedule a consultation as soon as you can.

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